Final word count:
Week 1 (exercises on setting, character, and plot) : 2,000 words
Week 2 story: 1,900 words
Week 3 story: 2,700 words
Week 4 story: 5,000 words
Week 5 story: 3,500 words
Week 6 story: 5,700 words
Total: 20,800 words
I was far from being the most prolific writer of our group, but over 20k words in six weeks is not too shabby :)
Having been through the workshop, what advice can I give to future students?
* Bring ideas with you to the workshop, but don’t feel obligated to use them. I came in with 6 story ideas, thinking that if worst came to worst I could fall back on them and not think of anything new during the workshop. I used some of the ideas for writing exercises in week 1, but all five stories I wrote at the workshop were conceived at the workshop.
* Learn about who you are as a writer, and what works for you. I learned a lot about my writing process–including that my brain needs to take a couple days off in between stories. I also learned that I can go from idea to finished draft in 3 days, in a pinch.
* Pace yourself and write a little every day, if you can. I couldn’t (see previous comment), which meant I spent every weekend frantically trying to pound out a few thousand words to make my deadline.
* Don’t measure yourself against your classmates. Everyone at the workshop has different strengths, learn from each other and don’t make it into a competition.
* Writing-wise, try to work on one or two things each week (more than that is overwhelming). For instance, I had a week where I worked on using more dialogue and making the story ‘gritty,’ and a different week where I worked on developing an interesting voice.